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Towards a More Productive Working Future


productive team

By Stephen Pobjoy, Head of Content, Expedite Consulting

UK productivity levels are still a concern, but running a business in a more efficient manner now makes the biggest impact rather than increasing hours or outputs.

Levels have grown fractionally recently, at just 0.3% between October and December 2016, according to the latest ONS figures. The ONS stats reveal, a 0.1% fall compared to the 0.4% growth recorded between July and September 2016.

Small changes could make huge differences to the so-called productivity puzzle – technologies and their usage can provide the increase in productivity UK government is so desperate to see – mainly to kick-start the fragile UK economy as Brexit looms.

Scotland has been hardest hit – mainly due to the drop in price of Brent crude from $110 a barrel in 2014 to $55 today. Over 30,000 jobs in oil and gas and related industries have been lost due to the low price of crude and North Sea oil production is now only just profitable at the $55 a barrel price. According to The Economist article this week.

At the other end of the productivity spectrum, something as simple as who you sit next to may have the biggest effect on how you work and therefore how productive you are. When you place someone productive next to a co-worker it can alter their output by up to 10% (according to research recently conducted by Cornerstone OnDemand).

Also by pairing people with different strengths and working styles (those with productive and quality styles of working) both became more productive and worked off each other. Interesting stuff and it makes a lot of sense. Research has shown that the most productive teams are diverse and have different personalities and different styles of work to bring greater innovation to the group. So perhaps we need to spend less on individual development and more on development of teams working together?

Team talent is something we’ll be debating at Working Futures on 23rd March, with Rob Jones @robjones_tring, OD, Transformation and Talent expert leading a debate on ‘Should we now focus on team talent rather than individuals?’

Also, we are investigating how HR needs to be the change agent to forge collaboration between humans and technologies for the 14th November Working Futures event. More on this to follow, as we put our highly productive team to work on it!

Coming up in the next few weeks:

HR Taskforce – ‘Developing the right culture for your business’ 28th Feb, Furniture Makers Hall

OC Excellence Showcase – 23rd March, Business Design Centre, Islington

Working Futures event – also held on 23rd March, Business Design Centre, Islington

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